MALVERN Town's 12-game unbeaten run was ended by local rivals Hereford Lads Club's 4-1 victory at the HDanywhere Community Stadium.

Matt Fusco headed and fired over the bar in the first 13 minutes as Malvern started brightly in the West Midlands League Premier Division clash.

But eighth-placed Hereford scored with their first attack in the 29th minute when a cross went over keeper Charlie Weaver and fell for Ashley Lear to fire home.

Louis Loader's free-kick curled wide on 38 minutes as Malvern tried to hit back.

But they were stung by two goals within five minutes at the start of the second half to corners converted by Jamie Cuthbertson.

Fifth-placed Town pulled one back in the 65th minute when Harry Clark's shot went over keeper Steven Ball who could only help it into the net.

However, in the 72nd minute the ball was cleared to Hereford's Kiea Cowley-Hair just inside his half and he ran on to fire from 28 yards into the net.

Malvern pressed but the only worthwhile chance fell to George Hayes whose shot was cleared off the line in the 88th minute.

“We actually started the game brightly and created a couple of decent chances in the opening 15 minutes,” said Town co-manager Dene Whittal-Williams.

“Had we converted one of these opportunities I believe the game would have progressed in a very different way.

“The way we conceded around the half-hour mark was very hard to take. We did not defend to our usual high standards, it’s as simple as that.

“A team like Lads Club will always battle and make life difficult so to give them a lift was always going to make the game even more difficult.

“Having said that, Lee (Hooper, co-manager) and I genuinely believed that by pulling a goal back we had more than enough to go on and win the game.

“So it was extremely frustrating when we conceded again just after the break through yet more uncharacteristic defending from a corner.

“As the score went from 3-0 to 3-1 with half-an-hour to go we looked for further goals and started to create some half-chances but fair play to our visitors’ back-line because they clearly wanted to hold on to their lead and defended resolutely.

“We are very disappointed to see our unbeaten run come to an end, especially the way that it did.

"However, we will not dwell on it and we’ll prepare with the mindset that we can go to Haughmond and get a result this weekend in what will be another tough game.

“We know how difficult that one will be but we are focused and determined to do what we can to repay the supporters.

“One positive aspect to come out of Saturday’s game was that James Febery came through 30 minutes having been sidelined through injury recently.”

After visiting Haughmond on Saturday (3pm), Malvern go to Black Country Rangers next Tuesday (7.45pm).

Malvern: Weaver, Webb, Griffiths (Craven 78), Noke (Febery 53), J Sauntson, A Sauntson, Turner, Loader, Reynolds, Fusco (Hayes 62), Clark. Subs not used: Whittal-Williams, Hooper.